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2 4 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Cooking Wild: More Than 150 Recipes for Eating Close to Nature by John Ash John Ash has been a prominent chef in the Sonoma County restau- rant community (and beyond!) for over 30 years, and Cooking Wild is his fourth cookbook. Sonoma County has always been known for its bountiful produce and wildlife, from which Ash drew inspiration for his latest cookbook. Centered around the theme of "wild" food, whether you forage it yourself or buy it at the store, Ash celebrates the uncultivated and untamed. There's a pine caramel sauce made with fresh pine needles, or boar braised in red wine with fresh black pepper pasta. The recipes are accessible but interesting— you can learn how to open a sea urchin!—and refrain from going too "foraging happy" (no need to go pick the weeds from between the sidewalks, city dwellers). It's a cookbook that finds a way to step out of the supermarket and back into nature while making cuisine that's approachable to all, regard- less of where you live. Pâtisserie at Home by Mélanie Depuis Having just recently returned from a trip to Paris that included many, many trips to Parisian pâtisser- ies, baking French confections has been on my mind lately. Enter Pâtisserie at Home, by Mélanie Dupuis, an instructor at Atelier Des Sens cooking school. One of the biggest reasons I love this book is the pictures. Each delicate pastry recipe has a lovely illus- trated diagram a la The Great British Bake-Off, a photo of the mise-en-place and photos ac- companying the instructions. As a visual person, it's great to see the photos while following along with the recipe to check my work. Yes, I know how to read, but while cook- ing is an art, baking is a science. French pâtisserie can be daunting for home bakers, but this book breaks down each recipe in an easy to follow way that simplifies even the trickiest of recipes, like a towering Croquembouche or tiered opera cakes. I'm looking for- ward to whipping up some éclairs and pretending I'm back in Paris! All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China by Carolyn Phillips I was initially suspicious of a Chinese cookbook written by someone of non-Chinese origin, but Carolyn Phillips spent eight years in Tai- wan, and it's soon apparent that she knows her cooking stuff. All Under Heaven isn't a cookbook so much as hefty tome covering regional cuisine from all over China. To be clear, this is not Chinese-American cooking; you aren't going to find General Tso's chicken or sweet and sour pork recipes in here. These are dishes I remember my mother cooking for me as a child, like congee, a thick rice porridge that is infinitely customizable, or scallion flatbread, fried discs of flaky dough covered in sesame seeds. There are also dishes I have never heard of but am eager to try, like Beijing-style smoked chicken or red date steamed buns. If you enjoy Chinese food and are look- ing to broaden your horizons, this cookbook is a great start to begin your exploration. Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The Definitive Step-by- Step Guide to Culinary Excellence Now that the United States has finally won the ven- erable Bocuse d'Or, the unofficial international championships in the cu- linary world (named after French chef Paul Bocuse), my patriotism has led me to this cookbook-cum-text- book from his worldwide culinary program Institut Paul Bocuse. If your interest is in cooking with French techniques, and—like me (as I've previously asserted), you love cookbooks with step by step photos—then this is an excellent guide book to learn a la Francaise. Skip the costly tuition to culinary school and learn not only how to joint a duck, but render the fat, make duck confit and carve it. Cover the very basics of chopping garlic, or dive into the expert level with sea bass fillet with confit tomato and courgetti scales. It's not just the kitchen that's covered as well; you can also learn how to decant wine using a candle and how to lay a classic dining table. It's a fun and fascinating read even if you're not a chef but just a food lover; it's a look into the preci- sion and care that goes into fine French dining. COOKBOOK CORNER w As an avid cookbook hoarder, I always look forward to growing my collection. Here are a few of my recent favorites! by Jesse Hom-Dawson PHOTO: AURÉLIE JEANNETTE AND JONATHAN THEVENET ■cr x

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